5-Card Flickr: Not Your Average Game of Cards

Five Card Story: A Walk in Israel

a Five Card Flickr story created by Debra (@teacherdebra)

flickr photo by cogdogblog

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

It was early morning when we climbed (actually ran) up the narrow, winding path of Masada. We needed to get there early so we could see the sun rise over the Dead Sea. When we reached the top the view was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Looking over the spanse of salty beach while standing on the same ground where history happened evoked a feeling of connectedness that I had not felt before I arrived.

Later that morning, after we had explored the ruins on the great mountain, we went down below to the seaside to dip our toes in the salty water that would make us buoyant, but would sting if you had some broken skin. We all bobbed around like toy boats, feeling giddy and silly and small.

The next day’s adventure was supposed to be a 4-hour hike through the desert, but being that we were chatty, easily distracted teens, it was more like 8. The desert was not what I thought it would be based on the stories and images I had in my head. It was dry, yes, but it had some beautiful pockets of green. We took time to wade in the oasis of a small pond before we were urged to make it back to the beach and our tents for the night.

Popcorn: A Whole New Way to Tell a Digital Story


This week in my #ETMOOC course is all about telling a story. Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. There are so many ways to visualize a story and that is where digital storytelling comes in. It is really no different from stories told before the invention of the moving picture since those included images, signs and sounds; the major difference is that now we can include digital media.

One of the tools I learned about this week is Popcorn: a video editing site that allows the user to insert text, pop-ups, links, twitter feeds, wikipedia articles and more goodies onto a Youtube, Soundcloud, Vimeo or HTML5 video to make the video interactive for the viewer. It is a way to remix the content to tell another part of the story.

After I watched the ETMOOC introduction, I decided to try this for myself. How difficult could it be? Well, almost 2 hours later I had mine complete. Now I’m not saying it would take everyone this long, but the good part of the first hour was finding a video I wanted to use that I thought I might have something to add, then watching the video and planning the layers. In the end, I chose a TEDxYouth talk by Seth Godin, whose Stop Stealing Dreams I read and wrote about and really enjoyed in a fired up, frustrated-with-public-education kind of way.

Once I got into the project, I really enjoyed thinking of ways to include Twitter hashtags, definitions and articles and thinking how a teacher might use this with a class or how a student might use this to show their learning about a particular topic. In the end, I am pretty happy with my Popcorn about Stop Stealing Dreams. You can check it out below. I would love some feedback!

My Popcorn from TEDxYouth Seth Godin

“Chance Favors the Connected Mind”

ID-100129789This afternoon I was listening in to one of the #ETMOOC collaborate sessions, tweeting interesting ideas when the moderator, Alec Couros put up a slide with this quote from Steven Berlin Johnson, “Chance Favors the Connected Mind.” Of course it struck me as both interesting and something I thought worthy of sharing so I tweeted it out. Almost immediately Lisa Noble (@nobleknits2) asked me how this was true for me. I decided to mull it over and write about it as I didn’t think that I could do it justice in 140 characters.

First I did what any good learner would do if they did not know the context for the quote, I googled it (using “” around the words so the search would keep the words together as a string). I found this TED talk by Steven Johnson titled,
“Where Good Ideas Come From“, watched it and found even more great ideas which I tweeted out. But the one that still remained intriguing is “Chance favors the connected mind”.

I like it because it states the importance and benefits of being connected. One of the ways I like to stay connected is to take part in Twitter chats like the weekly #edchats that often have hot topics like Homework or the importance of teacher selected professional development, where the tweets fly so quickly that it can make your head spin. The “conversations” are stimulating, engaging, thought-provoking and for me, often make me think and rethink my position and feelings. The great thing about these chats and Twitter in general, is that it allows educator and other users to connect with others and engage in conversations, ideas and resource sharing, that otherwise might not have happened since the participants are from all over the world.

How does ‘chance’ come into play? I think in a couple of ways. First, one never knows who will be in a particular space at a particular time. With Twitter, using hashtags increases the possibility that something one tweets will be seen by people who follow that tag, but it is chance that it is seen at any given moment by someone who may take the conversation to a different level; who may then tweet something back that will lead to further discussion or connection. I also think chance comes into play because people who are “connected”, who are “networked” have more opportunities to engage with people they may not have in their current place, space or time.

So, another way I like to connect is through online courses like #ETMOOC. But just taking part in the course, listening to the sessions, doing the assignments, does not build these connections. What it does, is create the environment for making these connections and creating these chance opportunities. And that is something that Johnson says in his talk, we need to be in the right space so that our networks can grow. But again, we can be in the right environment, but not make the connection. We need to put ourselves out there, we need to listen, read, comment, reply and engage with others so that we can not only be in the right place, but we will also be there at the right time to make these connections that may lead to something great.

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


I am so excited to begin this ETMOOC (educational technology open online course) with over a thousand members worldwide. I look forward to participating in the weekly learning sessions and Twitter chats and learning with and from all the great educators who are leading and taking part in the course. For the first assignment I chose to create a short i-movie telling a little bit about me. You can view it below by clicking on the link. Aside from how ridiculous my voice sounds, the rest is good. I wear a lot of different hats (as many of us do) but after being a parent, one of my favorite hats is that of being a teacher and working with children.

Who Am I?

Music credit: Alone in the Cold, Acoustic Guitar